Need a gear fix? Our weekly Emerging Gear column is a grab bag of exciting items from long-standing stalwarts and fresh-faced newcomers alike. This week, it’s all about comfort as brands lean into cozy fall vibes. But never fear. If you want to send it hard, we’ve also got you covered for that.
Big, chunky, pastel water bottles are all the rage. So, if you’re going to hop on this particular TikTok trend, you may as well do it with a bottle that will filter out the nasties while you backpack your way through Europe. LifeStraw’s newest addition to its Go Series line is an 18-ounce stainless steel number with a hollow fiber filter to strain out bacteria and protozoa and a carbon filter to improve taste and remove chlorine.
LifeStraw engineered this bottle with a slim design so it can slide easily into cupholders and backpack side pouches. The brand says the built-in hollow fiber filter will filter 1,000 gallons — but remember that depends on what kind of water you are filtering. Beware of glacial melt!
The last thing you want to look like while steezing on the hill is a tightly wrapped sausage about to burst your packaging. Stio’s solution is the Figment Freeride collection — fresh outwear for the 23/24 season with a relaxed freeride fit. The shell material blends 100% recycled polyester “PeakProof Plain Weave” with a highly breathable inner membrane to stave off wind and wet weather, while still being light and airy on the inside.
The Figment Freeride bibs and jacket come in a range of colors for men and women that’ll make your slope-side style pop.
I’m a big fan of ponchos and poncho-like garments. They keep you warm when needed and provide plenty of manual ventilation when things get muggy. The folks at Cleverhood have been running with this concept for a while with their line of bicycle-friendly ponchos.
Now, the brand is stepping up its winter game with the Snow Cape — a puffy winter poncho sporting 650 fill-power duck down, a 100% recycled polyester shell, and a large interior kangaroo-style pocket.
There’s also a hood with a large YKK waterproof zipper and snaps to form “sleeves” if that’s your jam. Winter car camping fans, take note: This could be your new go-to camp lounger.
Need some gentle illumination at camp? Stop strapping your headlamp to a clear water bottle and opt for the BioLite AlpenGlow Mini instead. The brand continues its foray into personal lighting with this 3.5-ounce, four-mode, packable little guy.
We gave the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 top honors in our 2023 Best Camping Lantern guide, citing the flexibility of its gentle colors, brightness choices, and modes. The Mini has all those same features and an integrated bungee strap system to connect it to tent poles, backpacks, or whatever else you need. The light boasts 150 lumens and up to 40 hours of run time, depending on how you use it.
And, in a nod to the future, the charging is USB-C based — just like that fancy new iPhone you just ordered. Handy!
NEMO’s warm, cozy, comfortable Tensor sleeping pad is my favorite inflatable ultralight option. It’s stable to sleep on, the material is light but relatively tough, and it comes in four sizes to suit every need. (Trust me, opt for the wide version.) Now NEMO has released a version made specifically for winter.
The Tensor Extreme Conditions model utilizes internal baffles to deliver an 8.5 R-value and 3.5 inches of cushioning at just over 16 ounces of weight. For context, the standard Tensor delivers an R-value of 4.2, and I’ve used it comfortably in conditions down to 40 degrees.
NEMO also claims the upgraded Tensor is quiet despite its use of thermal reflective film throughout. Noise is a big problem with insulated inflatable pads, so if true, that’s a very big deal. And I see no reason why it wouldn’t be — the classic Tensor also delivers a quiet sleep for its warmth class
If you’re sick of the hassle of planning and assembling camping meals but also hate the monotony of a rice-based boil-in-a-bag meal, heads up. Tippins Food’s Yellow Curry With Lamb Dinner Out-Pak solves two problems at once: It injects a little flavor into your hiking day and also removes the pain of planning snacks, drinks, and desserts.
The Yellow Curry With Lamb Dinner Out-Pak comes with everything you see above, including a main course and fixings. (Potatoes! Yogurt! Chai! Rice pudding! Spices! Thank God!) There are also bars and a sports drink to round things out. Just unbox it and go, and never look at another Mountain House meal again.
The leaves may be changing, but the singletrack is still open and ready for shredding. Add some support to your fall kit with Pearl Izumi’s recently launched Transfer Cargo liner shorts.
Because fall can hit you with temps anywhere from 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Pearl Izumi built these shorts with quick-drying fabric and voluminous mesh side panels. The shorts also come with silicon hem grips, a compressive fit, a high-rise waistband, and large side pockets. My only gripe? They only come in black.
Lightbug calls the GUARD “brighter than a car headlight, more security than a relationship.” The nifty little light utilizes car headlamp LEDs to generate 4,000 lumens of brightness. The GUARD has a ton of modes and spread patterns, and even auto-dips when it detects oncoming traffic.
But the real noteworthy features are the nods toward security and theft-deterrence. The GUARD attaches to your ride with a tamperproof steel plate accessible only from the integrated app. And if somebody tries to move your bike while you aren’t around? The GUARD generates a 100+dB siren, flashing alert, and mobile phone notification.
The GUARD is e-bike compatible and also includes integrated GPS for tracking in case of theft or automatic uploads to STRAVA in case you like to look over those deets post-ride. At $241, it’s a bit costly for a light, but as the insurance salespeople like to say, can you really put a price on peace of mind? Back it now on Kickstarter.
One of the worst parts about tailgating? Sitting on tailgates — or any other flimsy, uncomfortable camp furniture you find at such events. BOTE says “no more!” with its inflatable tailgating furniture line, including a chair, a couch, a table, and even a bouncy cornhole set.
The couch runs $399, comes in two patterns (I like the tropical print), and sits low to the ground for maximum comfort. BOTE sells a range of accessories that interface with its furniture, including a cupholder.
The furniture is made of tough PVC — the same stuff as your inflatable paddleboard. BOTE inflatable products have HR valves compatible with high-pressure pumps (not included).
Mountain Hardwear is 30 years old. To celebrate the occasion, the company is reissuing three classic designs from the mid-’90s — updated with modern fabrics, natch!
Included in the launch are the Exposure Parka, Windstopper Tech Jacket, and Subzero Down Jacket. All three items are unisex and styled to be familiar to anyone who adventured in the decade of grunge. I won’t say that sporting these layers will make you feel as strong and peppy as a teenager again, but it couldn’t hurt to try, right?